Amazon announced quite a few new products for Alexa this week. Including three new Echo’s, two Echo accessories and a new Amazon Fire TV set-top box which now supports 4K at 60fps, HDR, and Dolby Atmos Audio. Which is priced at $69.99, and basically makes it the cheapest 4K set-top box out there, the only other one that is close to that price is the Google Chromecast Ultra, which is arguably a bit limited for most people.
Out of the three Echo’s there is the new Echo, the Echo Plus and Echo Spot. The new Echo or Echo 2nd Generation, is a bit of a smaller Echo for Amazon. It also comes with a few different exteriors which really makes it stand out on your book shelf or desk. The Echo Plus, which actually looks like it could be a successor to the Echo, is a bit taller like the original. But it also has the ability to discover your smart home products – like light bulbs, thermostats and such – and go through the setup process for you. Making things a whole lot easier. Finally, the Echo Spot is a smaller version of the Echo Show. And it does indeed have a screen, which is great for those that have security cameras connected to Alexa, as you can easily drop right in and see what’s happening.
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These are all up for pre-orders right now on Amazon, with shipping starting in late-October, depending on the device. Many of these have different ship dates, and all of the details for them are down below. These are going to make some great gifts during the upcoming holiday season, especially as more and more people start making their home a bit smarter, and look for a hub to easily control all of these products they have.
The Amazon Echo finally got a successor here, but oddly enough, it’s not the Echo that was announced that looks the most like the original (that would be the Echo Plus). The new Echo is a bit shorter, but also wider. It’s still a cylinder shaped speaker, and has that same great sound for music and audio books. It also still has the far field microphones included, so that Alexa can hear you from far away. Amazon is selling the new Echo with a few different finishes. Which include a few different colored cloth finishes, and even some wood finishes. To really make it stand out.
Amazon has the Echo (2nd Generation) up for pre-order now on its website. It’ll start shipping on October 31st, 2017. Amazon is running a sale where you can get three Amazon Echo’s and save $50, use the promo code ECHO3PACK at checkout.
This one actually looks like it would be the successor to the original Echo, but it’s not. It’s the Echo Plus, which is the largest Echo in Amazon’s portfolio. It does everything that the regular Echo does, but one of the more unique features here is that Alexa can discover your smart home appliances and do the setup process on her own. So you won’t need to go through the setup process if this is your first Alexa device. Which is definitely useful.
The Echo Plus costs $149, making it the most expensive of the new slew of Echo devices, and it is up for pre-order now. It is slated to ship around October 31st.
This is sort of like a miniature Echo Show, that was announced earlier this year. The Spot almost looks like the first generation Logitech Circle. It’s basically half of an orb that has a screen in it. Which makes it only the second Echo to have a display. With the display, you are able to check in on your security cameras, or maybe put a camera in your baby’s room and keep an eye on them from another room and such. Of course, it also makes using Alexa a bit more enjoyable as you can see what she’s talking about.
The Echo Spot is priced at $129, and it is up for pre-order now, however it won’t be shipping until December 19th. So it’s a bit later than the other products here.
The Echo Connect is a bit interesting, it’s putting Alexa into a new category, which is replacing your home phone. The Echo Connect does require an Echo to be connected too. The Echo Connect allows you to make phone calls using Alexa, on your landline, instead of just calling someone else on Alexa, you can actually call an actual phone number. This may not appeal to a lot of people, but it is a pretty cool option for those that do still have a home phone number.
The Echo Connect costs $34.99, and has to be paired with an Echo – so the cheapest option would be the Echo Dot at $49.99. It’s up for pre-order now and ships on December 13th.
Amazon also debuted the Echo Buttons. These are small little buttons that can be used with the Echo in family games, like trivia games and such. Think of them like buzzers you’d see on a game show like Family Feud or something. It’s a pretty simple concept, and it works well. Amazon sells these in pairs for $20. These are not yet up for pre-order, so there’s no word on when they will be available. But you can sign up to be notified of when they will be.
Amazon also took the wraps off of a new Fire TV set-top box. It’s a 4K set-top box that also supports HDR and Dolby Atmos Audio. So it’s a great set-top box to pick up for your entertainment center. The Fire TV 4K also comes with an Alexa voice remote, so you can ask Alexa different things through your TV. Saying things like “play Stranger Things on Netflix” or “watch Grand Tour” which will then play through Amazon Prime Video.
The new Amazon Fire TV 4K is up for $69.99 right now, and will start shipping on October 25th.